Calling all hopeless romantics . . .
Picture in your mind's eye the ever-delightful radio show, A Prairie Home Companion.
Now, zoom back in time about 90 years.
White-washed houses . . . hard-working bachelor farmers . . . green hills . . . fields of corn . . . immigrants from Europe facing hard times . . . a world war . . . suspicions of "others" who are "different"
Such is the setting for a movie I simply can't get out of my mind. It's, well, sweet. But not in a sappy way. It's just plain lovely.
I'm talking about Sweet Land, a movie adapted from a short story written by Will Weaver, someone I had the privilege of hearing deliver the commencement address when RockStar son graduated from the University of Minnesota-Morris last year.
Here's a quote from the director:
Sweet Land tells the story of Inge Altenberg, a German mail-order bride sent to Minnesota in the paranoid and nationalistic days following the First World War to meet her future husband, Olaf, a Norwegian bachelor farmer. After hurdling the obstacles laid out for them by the government, the church and the community, they finally get together in the same house and Inge cooks for Olaf. As he enjoys the meal that is apparently unlike anything he has ever experienced,he asks,“Is this German food”
Inge replies, “No, just food.”
Love builds slowly in this film, but quietly, tenderly, and awkwardly it gathers the kind of strength that ultimately transcends the often-unchallenged barriers that separate us even today.
It's a small-budget film that uses its constraints to its advantage.
I found it sumptuous.
Inge would say it's "just food."
You be the judge.